A step back in time to Birdsville 1978

26 March 2012


Sue Nilion_malcolm_fraser_birdsville_1979_smallIn the picture: Prime Minister Malcom Fraser and Mrs Tamara Fraser visit nurses Sue Nilon (left) and Wendy Young  at Birdsville Hospital in September, 1978.

Former AIM nurse, Sister Sue Nilon writes:

It was the Birdsville races weekend in September, 1978. Wendy and I were both 29. Mr Fraser and his wife Tamara flew in by a turbo the evening before and stayed at a secret campsite. We were relieved as it meant that the pressure was off in terms of entertaining them as at that time we had a pilot and a doctor staying with us already. My impression of Mr Fraser was that he was a little aloof, but he was very interested in our service and John Flynn’s pedal radio. We took them for a tour around the hospital, which is now a museum. They stayed for an hour or two and then went to the races. I remember that there were about 420 planes that came in for the races. They had parked wingtip to wingtip across the airstrip and passengers and pilots were camping under the wings, because all of the campsites were full. I remember this well as we had to go and treat a diabetic who had been celebrating a little too liberally with amber liquid!